Where the hell’s my “l”?
In the last month or so, every time I’ve typed the words “could” or “would” I’ve ended up with “coud” and “woud” — (except for this sentence where I typed v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y to ensure I spelled those two words right at least once).
These typos are just the latest in my repertoire of bad spelling while tapping the keyboard. For example, back in that second sentence I originally typed “seppled” for “spelled.” And two sentences back I typed “tappjing” until I fixed it. And gee, I just typed “setnences” before correcting it to “sentences.” Arghh.
I have a list of common ones that seem to pop up every time I’m pounding the keyboard – “ahve” for “have” or “alwasy” for “always” and “thes tory” for “the story.” I realize this is a first world problem, but because I teach university students journalism and writing, I can’t chastise them about being sloppy with their editing if I’m handing back assignments that say “godo wokr.”
Perhaps I can just blame slipshod typing technique and going too fast, but this kind of carelessness or typing dyslexia keeps getting more common as I get older. I’d like to balme (blame) my keyboard, but the trouble is these kinds of mistakes happen regardless of what computer I use.
Back in grade 9, when I learned typing techniques on an old manual typewriter, I was able to zip through those “a;sldkfjgh” practice sessions using each finger of both hands with rarely a mistake. We’d type to the sounds of “A Taste of Honey” by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass to give us the rhythm we needed. Some years later with electric typewriters in the newsroom where I worked, I could bang out a news story on deadline as clean as you’d like.
Even the switch to computers didn’t affect me much until the last 10 eyars or so. Oh yeah, and that’s another word I never seem to type correctly – “years.” For some reason, those cleanly typed stories were now showing up in frist drafts (or “first” drafts if you want to be accurate) with typos galore.
So is it just me?
To find an answer, I did what every sleuth does these days – ask google (well, once I fixed the misspelling of “gogole,” then I was on my way). I found a couple of sites familiar with this typing dyslexia and was pleased to learn others across the planet were having this trouble too.
A site called allnurses.com had a clever little misspelled poll question that read “Do yuo type dyslexic?” that showed 51 per cent of respondents did. I’m sure it was good the respondents only had to click on a box to reply rather than type out a short answer.
Another site, scienceforums.com, noted that many of us type “they” as “thye” and that “the” often ends up as “teh.” Hey, I’m not alone. The site advises slowing down might solve most problems and one participant suggested that “while your brain’s language centers command T H E, and your motor system sets the appropriate fingers in motion, the middle left E finger “beats” the right index H, producing T E H instead.”
I’ll keep that in mind but lately I’ve even started typing my last name “Kearney” incorrectly coming out with “Keanrey” instead. So please check that name on any of this website. Meanwhile, I’m wondering if I’ll be able to finish this last paragraph without any typos. Looks like I coud … not.